Years Totally Disabled: Additional Compensation
Whether you are eligible under service connection for cause of death or under Section 1318, you may be eligible for additional compensation per month if the veteran was rated totally disabled for 8 continuous years immediately before death and you were married to the veteran those same 8 years.
Note that here, as with DIC eligibility under Section 1318, the veteran may have been totally disabled as a result of a single disability rated 100 percent, or multiple disabilities that combined to 100 percent, or due to unemployability .
What Is Helpless According To The Va
The last option is what the VA calls a helpless child. This is the veterans biological child, adopted child, or stepchild who is permanently incapable of self-support before they turn 18, either because of a physical or mental disability.
The one claiming benefits for the helpless child should submit medical or psychiatric reports and lay evidence to show the child had the incapacity before turning 18 and qualifies as a helpless child. Once the child is considered a helpless child, they remain under that status as long as they are not married, employed, or capable of self-support.
The veterans child must be either younger than 18, or between the ages of 18 and 23 if they are pursuing a course of education or training at an approved educational institution. The VA determines what educational institutions are approved, usually a permanent organization that offers courses of instruction to a group of students who meet its enrollment criteria, meaning schools, colleges, academies, seminaries, technical institutes, and universities.
A home school program only counts as an approved educational institution if it operates in compliance with state attendance laws. Schools outside the US may be approved if the program is offered by an institution recognized as standard and accredited.
Now that we have covered who may receive benefits in addition to the veteran, we will next look at what benefits are available to these qualifying individuals.
How Does Va Define Surviving Spouse
The VA will recognize you as a surviving spouse if one of the following is true.
- You were married to the veteran for at least a year.
- You were married for any length of time and your spouse died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.
- You married the veteran within 15 years of his or her discharge from service, and the injury or illness that caused the veteran’s death started in military service, or was made worse by service.
- You were married to the veteran before January 1, 1957.
- You had a child with the veteran, and
- you were living with the veteran until his or her death, or
- you were separated, and the separation was not your fault.
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What Are The Benefits For Widows Of Veterans
Widows of U.S. Military veterans are eligible for a number of government benefits, most notably a pension and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. The Veterans Administration requires that widows deceased veteran husbands actively served for at least 90 days, at least one of which was during a time of war.
To quality for a pension, a widows income must be relatively low. The amount of a monthly pension for qualifying widows depends on each womans financial need as well as whether or not she requires routine in-home assistance. The more help a housebound widow needs, the higher the pension amount she is likely to receive.
Qualifications for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation include the deceased veteran having died while on active duty, died from a disease or injury incurred while serving in active duty or inactive duty training or had a service-related disability for at least 10 years prior to death or for five years from the date of discharge until his death.
Other benefits for widows of veterans include educational assistance in the form of grants and low-interest loans, home loans, educational and vocational counseling, financial counseling and fiduciary services. In many cases, health care benefits are available for veterans widows as well as their children.
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Qualifying For Dic Benefits As A Widow
Veterans disability compensation is not the same benefit as DIC. After a veteran has died, the veterans benefits are not continued for the surviving spouse to collect. A surviving spouse should apply for DIC benefits if the veterans death was caused by their already-service connected disability if they meet the above criteria. If the veteran died due to a service-connected disability or died in the e of duty, then the process of claiming DIC benefits should be simple.
About Va Dic For Spouses Dependents And Parents
If youre the surviving spouse, child, or parent of a service member who died in the line of duty, or the survivor of a Veteran who died from a service-related injury or illness, you may be able to get a tax-free monetary benefit called VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation . Find out if you can get VA benefits or compensation.
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Planning For Your Survivors
As you plan for the future, you’ll want to think about what your family would need if you should die now. Social Security can help your family if you have earned enough Social Security credits through your work.
You can earn up to four credits each year. In 2021, for example, you earn one credit for each $1,470 of wages or self-employment income. When you have earned $5,880, you have earned your four credits for the year.
The number of credits needed to provide benefits for your survivors depends on your age when you die. No one needs more than 40 credits to be eligible for any Social Security benefit. But, the younger a person is, the fewer credits they must have for family members to receive survivors benefits.
Benefits can be paid to your children and your spouse who is caring for the children even if you don’t have the required number of credits. They can get benefits if you have credit for one and one-half years of work in the three years just before your death.
Do I Have To Apply For Dependency And Indemnity Compensation
Yes. If your spouse was on active duty or conducting a training exercise when killed, VA should assign a Casualty Assistance Officer to help you in several capacities, one being filing for surviving spouse benefits on your behalf.
Otherwise, you can apply online using VAs website, or you can print Form 21-534, fill it out, and submit it to VA. In this instance, you will want to be sure to include all supporting documentation that could serve as evidence that you meet the criteria for DIC as a surviving spouse or dependent, and that the veteran also met the criteria.
In addition, you can include any other evidence that will help establish your entitlement to DIC, such as the veterans death certificate to indicate cause of death, a marriage certificate, any prior divorce decrees, birth certificates, and school transcripts. Submitting this documentation with the initial application for DIC can help speed up the adjudication process.
When filing Form 21-534, you will find that there is a specific question regarding whether you are seeking service connection for the cause of death. If the veteran did not pass away from a service-connected condition, you will want to make sure that you answer this question appropriately.
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Do You Have To Pay Taxes On Widows Benefits
If your combined taxable income is less than $32,000, you wont have to pay taxes on your spousal benefits. If your income is between $32,000 and $44,000, you would have to pay taxes on up to 50% of your benefits. If your household income is greater than $44,000, up to 85% of your benefits may be taxed.
For Your Surviving Divorced Spouse
If you have a surviving divorced spouse, they could get the same benefits as your widow or widower if that marriage lasted 10 years or more.
Benefits paid to a surviving divorced spouse won’t affect the benefit amounts your other survivors will receive based on your earnings record.
after they reach age 60
If your former spouse is caring for your child who is under age 16 or disabled and gets benefits on your record, they will not have to meet the length-of-marriage rule. The child must be your natural or legally adopted child.
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Are Spouses Of Veterans Eligible For Va Benefits
Dependents and spouses of veterans are eligible when the veteran: Has a VA-rated service-connected medical condition making them permanently and totally disabled, or died of a service-connected medical condition, or died on active duty, and the dependents are not otherwise eligible for TRICARE benefits.
Create A Plan Together
Last but not least, work together to create a plan. Now that you know how much compensation comes with these benefits, you can plan for the future. Do some math to budget just how much your spouse needs for monthly expenses. How will these benefits fit into their financial needs and goals? What dependents need care?
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Burial Benefits Death Benefits And Memorial Items For Veterans
If youre a veteran and your discharge was not dishonorable, you are probably eligible for burial in a national veterans cemetery.
If youre buried in a private cemetery, your family may be entitled to a veterans burial allowance.
You can receive military funeral honors and memorial items whether youre interred in a veterans cemetery or a private one.
How Much Money Will I Receive
Currently DIC pays $1,154 per month. If you have any children under age 18, your monthly benefit will be increased by $286 for each child. If you are housebound or need help to perform basic tasks of daily living, you will receive additional monthly benefits. To determine how much your monthly benefit might be, see the VA benefit amounts for DIC.
If you receive benefits for your children under age 18, you will generally only receive this additional benefit for two years. Or the additional benefit for your children may stop earlier if your children reach age 18 before two years have passed.
However, if you have a disabled child, the child will remain eligible for DIC even after they reach age 18 or two years have passed.
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What If The Veterans Child Is Adopted
A child can also be the veterans adopted child, as shown by evidence that the veteran legally adopted the child before they turned 18. Proof of this would be a copy of the adoption decree or of the adoptive placement agreement. A child that is the biological child of the veterans spouse, former spouse, or surviving spouse may qualify for benefits as the veterans stepchild.
The marital and biological relationship would have to be established, and the veteran must show that the child currently resides in the veterans household. If it is for DIC benefits, the surviving spouse must show that the child resided in the veterans household at the time of the veterans death.
Veterans Survivors Pension And Death Pension
While the eligibility of DIC benefits is based on the Veteran or service members service-connected disability, Survivors Pension is not. Survivors Pension is a tax-free monetary benefit that is payable to a low-income, unmarried surviving spouse of a deceased veteran with wartime service. The pay rate for this benefit has been set by Congress. This pension benefit comes as a monthly payment.
Survivors Pension carries is own set of eligibility requirements for the deceased veteran as well as the surviving spouse. The deceased Veteran must have met the following service requirements:
- For service on or before September 7, 1980, the Veteran must have served at least 90 days of active military service, with at last one day during a wartime period.
- If the Veteran entered active duty after September 7, 1980, they must have served a total of 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty with a least one day during a wartime period.
- The veteran must have been discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions.
The eligibility requirements for the surviving spouse is as follows:
Its important to note that surviving children may also be eligible for survivors pension. Unmarried children must meet one of the following requirements to qualify:
- Be under age 18 years of age
- Be under age 23 and attending a VA-approved school
- Be unable to care for themselves due to a disability that occurred before the age of 18
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What Benefits Does A Military Spouse Get After Death
The Survivor Benefit Plan allows a retiree to ensure, after death, a continuous lifetime annuity for their dependents. The annuity which is based on a percentage of retired pay is called SBP and is paid to an eligible beneficiary. It pays your eligible survivors an inflation-adjusted monthly income.
Veterans Burial Benefits And Death Benefits At Private Cemeteries
Family members of some vets buried in private cemeteries may be able to get a veterans death benefit, or burial allowance. Eligible vets include those who received a VA pension or disability compensation when they were alive. The burial allowance can help pay for burial, funeral, and transportation costs.
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Is Va Dic Income Based
Many survivors of veterans get confused about this issue because of a separate VA program known as survivors pension. That program is based on your income and assets. Because the DIC program focuses on whether a veteran died as a result of a service connected condition, DIC does not focus on the income or assets of survivors.
How Do I Know If I’m Eligible For Dic
You are eligible for DIC if VA considers you a surviving spouse , and your military spouse died either:
- while on active duty
- while on active duty for training or inactive duty training
- as a result of a service-connected injury or illness, or
- while receiving VA disability compensation for at least:
- 10 or more years, right up until he or she died.
- from the time of discharge for at least five years up until she or he died, or
- for at least one year, if your spouse had been a prisoner of war.
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Va Benefits For Children Of Veterans
For a child to qualify for benefits as a dependent child or surviving child of the veteran, there are also two requirements.
- The child must be either:
- A biological child,
- a stepchild of the veteran.
To prove a child is the biological child of the veteran, the VA usually only requires a written statement with the childs age, date of birth, and social security number. It is rare that the VA requires additional proof, but if they do it will likely be in the form of: a copy of public record of birth a copy of baptism record an official report from the service department that the birth occurred while the veteran was in service an affidavit or certified statement from a physician attendant at birth a copy of a family record properly certified by a notary public or an affidavit or certified statement of a disinterested person who can attest to personal knowledge of the childs biological relationship to the parents.
- A signed statement from the veteran acknowledging the relationship,
- Evidence that the veteran has been identified as the childs father by judicial decree,
- Birth certificate listing the veteran as the childs father, or
- Any other evidence naming the veteran as the childs father and that the veteran knew of the relationship.
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Do Spouses Of 100% Disabled Veterans Get Benefits After Death
Are a Veterans Disability Compensation Payments Continued for a Surviving Spouse After Death? No, a veterans disability compensation payments are not continued for a surviving spouse after death. However, survivors may be entitled to a different type of benefit called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.